How do I spot a fake, fraudulent or phishing email or website?

Phishing is a type of email attack in which a fraudster sends you an email while impersonating a person, business, or reliable website in order to obtain your passwords or other sensitive information or gain complete control of your computer.

The majority of phishing efforts take place via email, but fraudsters will use every method they can think of to get you to give them your information or money, including:

  • Fraudulent emails and other messages that look like they're from legitimate companies
  • Fake invoices saying you’ve missed a payment
  • Misleading pop-ups and ads that say your device has a security problem
  • Scam phone calls or voicemails that impersonate employees at companies
  • Fake promotions that offer free products and prizes

It’s best to be vigilant at all times, fraudsters want your personal details for a number of reasons. Freemarket will never ask you for any personal data. If you receive a message and are unsure it’s really from Freemarket, check to see if it does any of the following:

  • Uses generic, impersonal greetings like "Dear user" or "Dear [your email address]." We'll always refer to you in our correspondence by your first and last name or by your company name. Greetings like "Dear user" or "Hello Freemarket member" are never used by us.
  • Requests that you click on links that lead to phoney websites. Before clicking any links in emails, always double-check them. A link can have a secure appearance, such as To view the actual location, be sure to hover your cursor over the link. Don't click on the link if you aren't sure.
  • Has unidentified attachments. Open an attachment only if you are certain it is trustworthy and safe. Pay particular attention to invoices from businesses and contractors you are unfamiliar with. Some attachments contain viruses that install themselves when opened.
  • Projects a false feeling of urgency. Phishing emails frequently use alarmist language and urge you to update your account right away. They're hoping you'll be swayed by their haste and disregard red flags that the email is a scam. If there’s an urgent need for you to complete something on your account, you can find this information by logging into Freemarket directly.

You can find some more information, tips, how to spot phishing attempts and best practices from Apple, Santander, Microsoft, and Which.

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